Forfeiture money buys safety vests, lasers

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK – Police officers soon will be better protected and better equipped.

The City Council on Tuesday approved the purchase of 27 law enforcement safety vests and three traffic enforcement lasers. The latter are more vehicle-specific than the radar speed-detection units many departments previously used. Lt. Jeff Rimer said the laser units can shoot a narrow, defined beam through a sight over a long distance at a particular vehicle.

A grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, a branch of the U.S. Department of Justice, will pay for 50 percent of the vest cost. Federal forfeiture funds will cover the rest.

“That means the criminals are paying for our equipment,” Mayor Gary Burtka said.

Current vests have reached the manufacturer’s expiration date. Cuda Uniform of Taylor, the lowest bidder, will supply the replacements at a cost of $720 each. The new vests have improved fit and function, manufacturers say, as well as pockets to accommodate trauma insert plates and a “self-suspending ballistic system.”

Three Kustom ProLaser III units costing $2,795 each will be used in traffic enforcement, replacing current lasers that are becoming outdated and whose maintenance costs recently have increased with age.